Because I Please, I’m Answering Maggie’s Blogging Survey Questions

Yesterday Maggie asked the following 11 questions on her blog, FROM CAVE WALLS. With her permission I’m answering them below. You may go HERE to read her post in which she explains her reason for asking these simple questions. If you so choose, you may answer them there or on your own blog. 

Image added because this makes my weird little heart happy. See my answer to Question #10 below.

1. How many times per week do you post? Do you post multiple times a day? If so, how many?

I post about once a week, occasionally twice a week, sometimes not at all.

2. How many blogs do you follow? 

I actively follow about 80 blogs but I’m aware of maybe 40 more.

3. Do you read all the blogs you follow every day? If not, how often do you read other blogs?

I don’t read blogs every day. I don’t read everything that everyone writes on their blogs. I try to read at least one post per week by any one blogger who I actively follow, sometimes two posts per week if I have the time.

4. Do you seek out new blogs to follow?  If so, how do you find them?

I seek out new blogs to follow. I do this by reading the comment sections on other people’s blogs, often finding new-to-me bloggers that way. I also check out most new-to-me commenters on who leave comments on my blog posts.

5. Do you comment on the blogs you read? If not, why? Do you respond to all the comments left on your blog?

I comment on the blogs I read because that’s what personal blogging is about, a chance to connect with people. I respond to all comments left on my blog, never cherry-picking a few comments, ignoring the rest.

6. Do you ever close comments on a blog you post? If so, why?

I always close the comment section on each blog post after 21 days, sometimes before. I do this because spammers swoop in if I keep things open any longer.

7. Do you ever unfollow someone? If so, why?

I unfollow people who start out friendly + interesting but over time become pedantic, or whiny, or snobby. People change, not always in ways that I find appealing.

8. What content inspires you to follow a blogger?

I don’t focus on any specific content per se, I follow a blogger because they’re articulate, sincere, and clever. It’s all about their vibe. What they write about is of less interest to me than how they write about it.

9. What content turns you off from following someone?

I won’t follow someone who has a sloppy writing style regardless of my interest in their content or someone who comes off as condescending or someone who has a snarly point of view about everything. Or as I think of it: no slobs, no snobs, no blobs.

10. How important is it to you that you add a photo to every post?

It is important to me that I add a photo or image to each post BUT if I don’t have one that works with my topic that doesn’t stop me from posting.

11. Leave me a link for one blogger (other than yourself) that you think I should check out.

A group of bloggers, many of whom regularly comment here, have just this month started a new blog called The Heart of the Matter. Check it out!

THINKING ABOUT YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS WOULD YOU, MY LITTLE BLOGGING SCRIBES, ANSWER THEM THE SAME, IN A SIMILAR WAY, OR DIFFERENTLY THAN HOW I DID?

A Rare Sunday Blog Post In Which I Grumble Unimaginatively About A Rare Early Snowfall

“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

Oscar Wilde said that, but I say WHATEVER.  I don’t see that dude standing here dealing with weather whiplash like I am.

You see, and I am a bit grumbly about this, after falling back one hour last Sunday we had a beautiful week of sunny days and agreeable daily highs in the 70s. I was running around outside wearing shorts and a t-shirt and sandals.

Life was good, in a warm busy way.

However yesterday *bing bang boom* we had our first snowfall of the season.  This isn’t statistically the norm.  Our first snow usually arrives in December [sometimes as late as January] meaning that I’m supposed to have a few more weeks of autumn.

With a gradual decline in the temperature.

With me going from shorts to capris, then pants.

But there I was yesterday morning scrambling around in the closet looking for jeans and a sweater and boots.  Clothes I enjoy wearing, but prefer to deal with in an organized, systematic way.

Not by throwing open drawers and storage bins, rooting through piles of turtlenecks trying to remember which ones I actually like–and which I ones I tolerate because I bought them & they’re here now.

Anyhow, because I’m sensing that the cold is here to stay and because I’m not ready to deal with it in a mature way, I wrote this rare Sunday blog post.  By talking about the early snow I do realize that I’m avoiding the obvious: that is, I could be doing something productive like getting my winter clothes in order.

But instead I’m complaining.  Not quite whining, but grousing, hoping to find the silver lining in this cold wet unwanted cloud of early snowiness that makes me feel like hibernating inside until next spring.

Which I should not do.

Thus if you see the silver lining in any of this please point it out to me.  Or if nothing else, distract me from the weather with your warm personality and joyful thoughts.

You know you want to.

The Tale Of The Accidentally Purloined Bag Of Potato Chips

LIKE MISCREANTS EVERYWHERE I’M GOING to say this wasn’t my fault because, as I will explain below, it was an accident.

Nothing pre-meditated about this.

Just a minor tussle involving a fast-moving me and a fussy computer in the U-scan checkout lane in the grocery store that lead to an unanticipated situation.

You see…

It was late afternoon and I was using the U-scan checkout lane in Kroger.  I like the self-checkout lane because it’s usually faster than waiting in line for the traditional checkout.

Plus, and I’m bragging here, I am very good at finding the little UPC codes on what I’m buying, expertly swiping the code across the flat UPC barcode reading screen, then tossing my purchase into the reusable bags I swear by.

• • • 

HOWEVER ON THIS PARTICULAR DAY in my zeal for checking out of the store, while grabbing a bag of potato chips out of my shopping cart, I twisted around in such a way that my crossbody purse did a little flying leap away from my body and landed on the flat UPC barcode reading screen.

PLOP!

Then for reasons known only to the computer, it immediately jumped ahead to the part of the transaction that asks you how you’re going to pay for these items.

But I wasn’t finished inputing all my items.

So being tired and in a hurry, without thinking much about it, I laid the bag of potato chips, not properly swiped, on top of the stuff already packed in my reusable bag.

Then I focused my energies on coaxing the computer, Little Miss Touchy Screen, to allow me to continue shopping. I was victorious, because I know all about that ⬅️ key that lets you keep buying stuff.

I input a few more items, the rest of what I wanted to buy, then paid for my purchases using a credit card, grabbed my bags, and walked to my car where I placed the bags in the trunk.

I drove home.

• • •

BUT AS I DID SO I had a slow realization, the sort that sneaks up on you in the most unlikely places, like at a stoplight while you’re waiting for it to turn green, that it was possible I had accidentally stolen that bag of potato chips, a small bag I assure you, from Kroger.

And you know what?  When I got home I checked my register receipt and well… yep I stole a bag of potato chips… like a thief… a perp… which I am not… except maybe I was.

And here’s the thing because all perps have a thing, if interrogated by the Coppers I’m gonna squeal on my accomplice in this unfortunate situation. IT WAS THAT DARNED COMPUTER’S FAULT for getting flustered.

I mean what kind of wuss is that thing?  It wasn’t like I hit it with the heft of a heavy leather Hermès Birkin Bag, now was it?  It was only a lightweight nylon baggallini Uptown Bagg, a sleek crossbody.

Honestly, I didn’t mean to do this.

You believe me, right?

~ ~ 🛒 ~ ~

A few other *oops* stories about *situations* at Ye Olde K. Roger…

In Which Ms. Bean Is An Accessory After The Fact, Maybe [2018]

Carelessness, Coupons, And Cake– OH MY! [2017]

The One About The Friend, The Dog & The Suburban Grocery Store Salad Bar [2014]

~ ~ 🛒 ~ ~

Mixing It Up: A Tale Of Despair, Determination, And Dollars

“If you have been mixing a dense mixture for several minutes or more, it is possible that the force of the planetary action can over-tighten the bowl.”

~ KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer “stuck bowl” product help

Planetary Action is “a double mechanical motion in which a tool is rotated on a center, while that center is revolved in another circle at the same time.”

~ Dictionary of Occupational Titles glossary

~ • ~

BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY nestled in the corner on the kitchen counter

~ • ~

This tale involves our KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer, BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY.  She’s okay, no need to worry, but there is a casualty in this story.

You see, once upon a time we bought the KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer Ice Cream Attachment.  It’s two parts that involve an insulated freezer bowl and a goofy little paddle thingie.

We did this so we could use BLUESY to make ice cream at home for the heck of it.  Thus it came to be that the other day I decided we needed to make ice cream and we did.

But in the process of using the KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer Ice Cream Attachment, the insulated bowl froze onto BLUESY. Not budging at all.

This did not make us happy.

Following KitchenAid’s “stuck bowl” advice for how to free a stuck bowl, we tried using multiple warm wet kitchen towels wrapped at the juncture where the bowl attaches to the mixer.

Bowl still stuck.

Again following KitchenAid’s advice we put dabs of vegetable oil at the juncture where the bowl attaches to the mixer, then applied brute force.

Bowl still stuck.

Then being innovative little suburban scamps we improvised and tried using WD-40.

Bowl still stuck.

At this point, I’m ashamed to say, I was ready to give up on BLUESY, the old girl. So I went online to see how much a new KitchenAid Tilt-head Mixer would cost. I was shocked. Prices have doubled since we bought her.

So we took extreme measures.

Zen-Den, following the last ditch “stuck bowl” advice, took BLUESY into the basement, placed her on a folded beach towel on the floor, then carefully used a rubber mallet to bash the base of the insulated ice cream freezer bowl, slowly reshaping the base of the bowl.

Then he used a flathead screwdriver to lift, force, cajole the insulated bowl loose, destroying its structural integrity in the process while accidentally leaving a small scratch on BLUESY’S pretty blue finish.

We can live with this.

In fact I feel the scratch, a mere boo-boo, adds character to BLUESY.  Not to mention we saved $449.99 by not buying a new Kitchen-Aid Tilt-head Mixer.

Cha-ching!

~ • ~

Close-up of BLUESY THE MIXING FLOOZY’S boo-boo

~ • ~

QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Have you ever wanted to take a mallet to a machine? Did you do it?

If you have a stand mixer [any brand], have you ever gotten the bowl stuck on it? If so, how’d you get the bowl unstuck?

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

~ ~ 🍨 ~ ~

In The Mood For Fig Newtons And Scotch, Maybe

Image from @thepresentpsychologist on Instagram

So it’s still January. I feel like this has been the longest January* on record. Somehow a few extra days got tossed into this one, I am beyond bored.

Do you feel it too, my little ice cubes?

In fact, referring to The Mood Meter image above, not that I want it that way but I’d say I’m currently in the lower lefthand quadrant at DRAINED on a fast train to DESOLATE, hoping to not end up at DESPAIR.

I started this year in the upper righthand quadrant at OPTIMISTIC and ENERGIZED. But blah cold weather combined with incessant anti-vax gibberish**, plus a realization that many  longtime bloggy friends have stopped posting altogether, well– this has left me feeling oddly RESTLESS.

~ ~ 🎵 ~ ~

Image from @thefabstory on Instagram

I usually like January, look forward to it even. But somehow this year, maybe because of the endless anxiety associated with the pandemic, I’m feeling a different vibe within myself and about the world around me.

When it comes to self-care, referring to the Routines To Try image above, I don’t know if I need to be more PRODUCTIVE or focus on being CALMER.

And ain’t that a pip!

Anyhoo that’s where I find myself this wintry morning, wondering if there might be some restorative power in Colonel Sherman T. Potter’s remedy for feeling low.  The clip below explains what to do with your Fig Newtons and Scotch*** and why.  Cheers!

~ ~ 🥃 ~ ~

* Okay I’m wrong about this being the longest January on record: In the Roman calendar only 10 months had formal names. Winter (January and February) was simply known as the “dead period” [Source here]

** We’re both fully vaccinated and wear our masks when out in public, where we rarely go because of the people who are not fully vaccinated and do not wear their masks out in public.

*** In the spirit of transparency I feel obliged to tell you that should I follow through on Colonel Potter’s advice, the Fig Newton will be a Chocolate Chip cookie and the Scotch will be Bourbon.

• • •

SO TELL ME, HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? WHAT’S YOUR MOOD?

• • •